U.S. gun makers led by Sturm Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) churned out a record number of firearms in 2012, government data show, continuing a trend of robust production during Democratic presidencies.More than 8.57 million guns were produced in 2012, up 31 percent from 6.54 million in 2011, according to data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been tracking the statistics since 1986.Almost as many guns -- 26.1 million -- were produced during Democrat Barack Obama’s first term as president as during the entire eight-year presidency of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, the ATF data show. . .
Obama isn’t the only Democratic president to see a spike in gun production. More than 33 million firearms were manufactured during Democrat Bill Clinton’s two terms, which was more than the 28 million produced during Bush’s presidency. Just over 16 million firearms were manufactured during Republican George H.W. Bush’s single term.Clinton antagonized gun-rights groups by pressing for stricter gun control. He signed legislation mandating background checks on firearm purchases and a ban on assault weapons. The ban expired in 2004.